A Christmas cookies recipe where the hardest part is not to eat too much of the dough while making them – NOT because it’s harmful but because you won’t be left with any cookies? Could be worse, right?! Here’s a recipe for 3 delicious ways (raw, baked & dipped in chocolate) of the best and easiest vanilla crescents (Vanillekipferl) ever!
Finally it’s that time of the year where it’s absolutely acceptable to eat cookies all day long! Already as a child vanilla crescents were my absolute favorite Christmas cookies. Only those star-shaped cinnamon cookies could keep up with them, really. I thought it would be hard to create something with simple ingredients that could taste anything like the original. But I was wrong. These delicious cookies taste better than anything that I can remember to have loved about the originals back in the day (sorry, mom!). I seriously would not want to exchange these for the “original”. So why even bother with all these complicated recipes for vanilla crescents when it can be so simple, yet so delicious?!
I didn’t even attempt to make these specific cookies, though. It actually happened accidentally when I was about to make some energy bites. I usually use almonds, walnuts, dates and cinnamon or cacao powder to make these little balls, which btw make a perfect snack (there will be a recipe coming up soon). This time I only had few almonds left but a lot of cashews on hand. Because I already knew that cashews and vanilla were a great pairing (cashew butter + vanilla = vanilla-heaven! Thank me later…) I thought why not throw some vanilla (powder – this is important here) into the mixture. The result: a taste which immediately made me think of the German classics when it comes to Christmas cookies. Obviously I had to form them into the typical shape and place them in the oven.
Vanilla: the queen of the spices
Along with saffron, vanilla is the most expensive spice of the world. This is due to the high demand and the elaborate growing and further processing. Technically speaking vanilla (the plant) belongs to the orchid family with the only edible fruit of this species. The spice is extracted from fermented capsular fruits, the so-called vanilla pods. By the way, the odor of vanilla is known to be very appealing, which is why it’s often used in perfumes. Also vanilla has a calming effect on us – seems to be the perfect choice for the time before Christmas.
You can eat these cookies raw or baked. I prefer them raw because they really develop their beautiful vanilla flavor then. They also are delicious when baked though, especially with the chocolate tips. Then the cookies are also rather crunchy.
Prep time: 10 Min
Cooking time: – (22-25 Min)
Total: 10 Min (35 Min)
For the cookies (Makes 17-20 crescents, depending on size)
- 1/3 cup almonds (50 g)
- 1/3 cup cashews (50 g)
- 2/3 cup dates, about 10-12 (100 g), depending on size and stickiness
- ½ tsp vanilla powder (I really recommend the powder here. However you could substitute ¼ tsp of vanilla extract. I haven’t tried this though)
- Optional: coconut flour for dusting
For the chocolate
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 ½ tbsp cacao
- 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
You will also need:
- Make sure you’ve eaten something before starting.
- If the dates aren’t very fresh and/ or sticky enough, soak them in hot water for about ten minutes.
- If you’d like to bake the cookies, now is the time to preheat the oven to 300° F (150° C) and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place nuts in a food processor and blend until a coarse flour forms. Add vanilla and blend another few seconds. Then add the dates (drained) and blend again until a sticky dough forms. If too sticky, simply add a few extra nuts or nut flour. If too dry, add another date or two (one after another).
- Inhale the breathtaking aroma and fly high for a second. Try not to eat everything already.
- Use hands to make the typical crescent shape out of teaspoon sized balls. If you would like to eat the cookies raw, you could eat them right away or store in the fridge. If you want to have the effect of powdered sugar, simply dust with coconut flour. You could also dip them in chocolate to make chocolate peaks (see below)
- For crunchy cookies, simply place them in the oven and bake for about 22-25 minutes until golden brown. Make sure to check on them regularly after 22 minutes so as not to let them burn.
- You can prepare the chocolate while the crescents are cooling. Melt together all of the ingredients for the chocolate peaks in a simple double boiler. Coat the ends of the crescents with the chocolate and let them get firm on an oven rack first, then in the fridge. Store them in the fridge, too (they could melt when at room temperature).
It really isn’t necessary to give any shelf life information since these won’t last very long anyway. Believe me!
By the way, you might think this recipe was written more passionately than usually. You know what? You’re right! You know why? Because I love vanilla as much as sharks love blood. From my last recipe you know the second of my favorite spices already.